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Why we still need Macklemore’s ‘Same Love’

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When Macklemore’s “Same Love” came out more than a year ago, my immediate thought was, “This is amazing.” I never thought I would hear a pro-gay rap song. Then the song became a hit, and I kept hearing it, and hearing it. The more I listened to the lyrics, the more I found the song outdated. If “Same Love” was a book, it would be called “Gays for Dummies.”

This week, however, I realized just how relevant “Same Love” really is. Eminem made a grand return with his song “Rap God,” the lead single from his forthcoming (and highly praised) “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.” But it seems that someone forgot to tell Slim Shady that it’s 2013, because Eminem is still slinging the same homophobic hash he was serving in 2000. “Rap God” stings with anti-gay lyrics.

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“I’ll still be able to break a [expletive] table/ Over the back of a couple of faggots and crack it in half,” he raps in one of the offending verses.

Eminem continually creates anti-gay raps and makes threats, and then hides behind his slurs with empty mea culpas. Yes, he performed a duet with Elton John at the Grammy Awards and told Anderson Cooper in 2010: “I don’t have any problem with nobody.” But like the schoolyard bully who apologizes in front of the teacher and then quickly returns to tormenting his victims, Eminem, now in his 40s, is still verbally shoving around the gay community.

Perhaps he was trying to show just how tough he is when, in 2001, he felt compelled to call Moby a “36-year-old bald-headed fag.” He defends his hate speech by claiming that his detractors are “heterophobic.” And what better way to get even with those heterophobes than to rap to Lance Bass “Sorry, Lance, Mr. Lambert and Aiken ain’t gonna make it. They get so upset when I call them both faggots.”

When I was bullied as a kid, my guidance counselor told me to ignore the threats and they would stop. They didn’t. I’m not in junior high anymore, and I’m not going to be quiet while this jerk yammers on. I’ll go ahead and say it to Eminem and all of his alter egos: Shut up.

And Macklemore (pictured), please accept my apologies. We still need “Same Love.”

Christopher Muther can be reached at christopher.muther@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.
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